The traffic police in Bengaluru have resumed the use of breath analysers to catch motorists driving under the influence of alcohol, nearly 18 months after the practice was stopped amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit India, the breath analyser tests using alcometers were stopped in Bengaluru to prevent the spread of the disease.
According to a report in Deccan Herald, Bengaluru Joint Commissioner of Police Traffic BR Ravikanthe Gowda told reporters on Saturday that drunk-driving checks using breath analysers had been resumed. The breath analyser tests are being resumed after Bengaluru saw an increase in drunk driving cases, the report said. Ravikanthe Gowda further said that the opinion of experts has been sought before resuming these tests, according to the report.
According to a report on Times of India, each person stopped by the police will be provided with a disposable straw for the alcometer and once the person has used the alcometer, the alcometer will be sanitized and put away in a plastic bag for the next three days before it is used again. In case the person refuses to use the alcometer even with the disposable straw, the police will take the person to the nearest government hospital for a blood test to detect whether the person was under the influence of alcohol.
Ravikanthe Gowda also told the newspaper that the police will follow all precautionary measures, including wearing gloves, masks and face shields during these checks. Further, the police will sanitize themselves and the motorist before testing them.
According to the TOI report, over 600 alcometers will be used to check for drunk driving in Bengaluru and they have been distributed to 60 stations in the city.
Earlier, on September 17, Bengaluru police had started to conduct drunk driving tests and had booked 46 people on the day, according to a previous report in TNM. However, instead of alcometers, the police only conducted blood tests when they suspected that the motorists were driving under the influence of alcohol through smell.